The personal injury protection (PIP) reform bill has been and remains controversial in part because it directly affects the vast majority of Florida residents—those who drive. Before analyzing the reform bill, let us briefly look back at legislative history so we have a better understanding of the proposed reforms to PIP.
Prior to 1972, people involved in auto accidents in Florida had difficulty collecting money for their damages and injuries because insurance companies were often inclined to deny liability by their insured. The unfortunate result was auto accident victims not receiving medical care for their injuries because insurance companies would not make payments when needed, claiming that they could not provide compensation under a policy until liability or fault for the accident was clearly determined.
The Florida Legislature responded to this crisis in 1972 by passing the county’s first No Fault Law regarding traffic accidents. This law was passed to make sure that anyone involved in an auto accident would quickly receive money to treat their injuries. The law specifically states that insurance carriers are required to pay up to $10,000 to their own policyholder after an accident to cover medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was at fault. This way, injured auto victims could receive immediate medical treatment without being forced to wait for an insurance carrier to accept or admit fault—hence, the No Fault Law. The legislature named this new type of coverage personal injury protection or PIP.
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